As a stock photographer, it’s important that I do my very best to make sure my images are properly edited and color corrected. One tool I use to help me with this process is a monitor calibration device. Calibration is important to me because if I did NOT calibrate my monitor then my images may end up being too bright or dark, or have a strong color cast when other people viewed them on their screens.

Now, I do realize that not everyone who views or purchases my images calibrates their monitor, but the way I like to explain monitor calibration is that it is like “leveling-out” your screen (you know, those yellow things with the bubble in the middle of them). Some people’s monitors might be “off-balance” to the right or left, but as long as your screen is balanced in the middle then your photos will, for the most part, look pretty normal to everyone else.

There are several types of calibration devices out there. Some are intended for screen-only use (like the one I use, a ColorVision Spyder2 Express), and others are made specifically for printing, which tend to be more expensive. If your photos go from your camera to your computer, web, or online printing service then you don’t need anything fancy.

Spyder2 Express costs less than $60, works on either Mac or Windows machines, is really easy to use, and has worked great for me for the past two years.